Tuesday, February 26, 2013

FEN Frank Knauer 1980

Chip Barus checks in:

"Stumbled across your website while looking for FEN archives to check on an on-air personality from the 79-81 time period. I was stationed at Kadena AB in that time frame. Went broke saving money on stereo equipment. Long story short, I bought an Akai reel to reel because I could. Been going back through the tapes to record them onto a hard-drive for safe keeping. Found a tape with two "East of Midnight" shows by Frank Knauer They were recorded on 11 and 18 October of 1980. One of them was the Typhoon Wynn broadcast complete with the typhoon warnings of the day. Just wondering if you had any info on Frank Knauer. Is he still around? Spent most of my tour there listening to the show as I was working swing shift for the entire tour. Great memories of the show and Frank."

I met Frank when we were in Korea.  I was at the station in the infantry division near North Korea.  Every building was war era temporary structures.  The opposite of that would have been Taegu, near the south coast.  One of the most beautiful bases I'd ever seen.  That was Frank's station.

This is from the October 11th 1980 broadcast.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lee Baylee 1939-2013

Lee Bayley
Birth: May 17, 1939 Siloam Springs Benton County Arkansas, USA
Death: Feb. 17, 2013 Tyler Smith County Texas,

USA Memorial services for Lee Bayley, 73, of Holly Lake Ranch will be 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, at First United Methodist Church in Hawkins with the Rev. David Hicks officiating. Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Croley Funeral Home in Hawkins. Mr. Bayley passed away suddenly Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, in a Tyler hospital. Mr. Bayley was born May 17, 1939, in Siloam Springs, Ark., to William and Eunice Mason Bayley. He graduated from Springdale High School in 1957. He was a veteran of the United States Army, was retired from the broadcast industry, had lived in Holly Lake Ranch for 11 years, retired from the Holly Lake Ranch Volunteer Fire Department and member of the First United Methodist Church in Hawkins. He is survived by his wife, Jeriann Bayley of Holly Lake Ranch; son, Stuart Lee Bayley of Carrollton, Texas; daughter, Suzanne Bayley Brooke of Heath, Texas; brother, Curt Bayley of Hindsville, Ark.; two grandchildren, Connor and Brendan.

Lee was a vet of CFN, later SCN the AFRTS station in the Panama Canal Zone in the early 1960s.

AFN Ray Tubberville 1973

Thanks to Phil for sharing.
Ed Tooma worked with Ray:
Ray and I worked together at AFN Berlin and at the Army Information Radio Service in Washington, D.C. Did we ever have fun doing production. I only wish I had kept the many spots and promo's we voiced together and we did some great character stuff too. Probably one of the most memorable spots was about us standing in that long unemployment line and deciding we'd be better off in the service. It became an AFN Frankfurt Network Radio break spot. Speaking of spots - it sure would be nice if everyone would share their production and send it to Thom so we could all go down memory lane together.

If any of you have the time drop me a line. I'd enjoy hearing from you.

Ed Tooma

AFNE 70-76
AFKN 80-81
AIRS 76-80, 81-85

Monday, February 18, 2013

RIP Colonel Robert Cranston

G. I. Broadcasting Pioneer
Colonel Robert Cranston Dies
by Andrew Guthrie

Huddleston, VA (Special)  Colonel Robert Cranston, the Iconic U-S Army broadcaster who waded ashore during the Normandy invasion,  and later, helped establish the  G. I. radio service, officially known as The American Forces Network, Europe,  (AFN,E)  has died at the age of 93. He was surrounded by his family, including his wife Sandy and her daughter Dr. Jennifer Burgart and other family members.

Colonel Cranston died Sunday evening 2/17/2013 at 6:35pm Eastern time at his Smith Mountain Lake home in Huddleston, Virginia of complications following heart surgery last November at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville.   His death was announced by his wife of 19 years, Sandra K. “Sandy” Cranston.

AFN was the brainchild of Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower who felt American G. I. s  needed news, sports and music on the radio in English, to keep up their morale during the war, and afterward, serving with occupation forces.

Colonel Robert Cranston was born April 5th, 1919 in London, England.  His Scottish father George, who had immigrated to Canada and joined the Canadian Army,  was wounded in World War One.  While in the hospital he married his nurse, Louise, and Colonel Cranston was born a British citizen during his father's recovery.   His smother died when he was just six months old, and he was raised by her friends.  As a teenager, he rejoined his father in Canada, and became a U.S. citizen when his Dad got a job running powerful Dallas - Fort Worth, Texas, radio station  W B A P - AM.  That gave young Robert a firsthand knowledge of broadcasting.

In November of 1940, he enlisted for duty in the 124th Cavalry of the Texas National Guard.  At 22, he became Sergeant Major of the 51st Signal Battalion and was soon in Officer Candidate School, where, in 1943, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps.
48 hours after the initial Normandy invasion, Lt. Cranston waded ashore on Omaha Beach with his Signal Corps unit and later was wounded in combat during the “Battle of the Bulge.”   He  returned to duty in time to be part of the historic meeting between the U.S. and Russian armies at the Elbe river, just days before the Nazi surrender.  With Paris  liberated, AFN set up headquarters there, and now Captain Cranston was transferred from the Signal Corps to become executive office of the expanding AFN radio network. It was there he met General Eisenhower who became his mentor in Army broadcasting.

With the war over, Captain Cranston was temporarily assigned to the Information and Education Department of  The U.S. Army Europe, at AFN Headquarters, which had relocated to Hoechst, outside Frankfurt.  But, within months, he was needed in Salzburg,  Austria, to become the second commander of The (seperate and short-lived) Blue Danube Network under General Mark Clark. Its mission was to entertain and inform U. S. forces there.  The BDN soon became as popular with Austrians, as it was with The American military, and many learned English listening to it.
Almost two years later, the Pentagon called him back to Washington, where he became Chief of News and Special Events in the radio - TV Branch of the Information Office.  Soon, he was named the Army’s first “Television Officer,“ during which time, Cranston worked on such TV programs as NBC’s “Wide, Wide World,” and Edward R. Murrow’s “See It Now” on CBS.  He also served as technical advisor on The Phil Silvers Show, in which Silvers portrayed an Army Sergeant.
In 1960, now Lt. Colonel Cranston returned to Europe, to command  The American Forces Network, Europe, which by then was a 14-station AM and FM network in France, Germany, and Italy, broadcasting with more than one-million watts of power, and headquartered near Frankfurt, Germany.

Following his tour as AFN Commander, Colonel Cranston returned to the United States to take command of the now world-wide Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS), headquartered in Los Angeles, California.  With a staff of more than 150, the service reached more than two million U-S military personnel in 35 countries and at dozens of U.S. Navy ships at sea. He was also instrumental in setting up Armed Forces Viet Nam (AFVN).
In one of the most significant achievements of his more than 30-year military career, Colonel Cranston negotiated an agreement with the three major radio and TV networks, and their unions,  to provide  their programs free of charge to the thousands of troops stationed around the world, via AFRTS. 

This achievement, saving the Pentagon millions, won the Colonel the Army’s Distinguished Service Medal, its highest award for meritorious service, which is normally reserved  for Generals. In addition, Colonel Cranston was awarded the Purple Heart, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Medal and the Government of the Netherlands Medal of Merit. In 2001, he   was inducted into the Army Public Affairs Hall of Fame and was a lifetime member of the American Legion.  He retired from the Army in 1973 but served several more years as a civilian leader in military broadcasting. In 1983,after a combined total of 43 years in service to the United States,   he retired to Huddleston, Virginia.

In addition to his wife "Sandy," Colonel Cranston is survived by a sister, Ms. Pat Cranston of Seattle, a former Journalism professor at Washington State University, his Aunt, Katherine Wiley of Oakville, Ontario, Canada,  and daughters Dr. Jennifer Burgart, of Linville, North Carolina, Mrs. Matt Anderson, of Lynchburg, Virginia, and Mrs. Scott Young of Newport News, Virginia, and grandchildren Carson and Maria Anderson.  Colonel Cranston will be buried later this year at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

Colonel Cranston and Sandy

Sunday, February 17, 2013

LaRita Shelby 1995

Another great aircheck from the George Schilli collection.  George grew up listening to AFN and became a broadcaster.  These were great teachers.

Still an amazing talent, be sure to visit her website at http://www.laritashelby.com

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Kris Erik Stevens Christmas 1979

Kris Erik Stevens was a longtime star of ours.  When you go to the movies and the DJ sounds like someone very familiar, you've heard him before.

From Krismas 1979, the American Disco Network presents Kris Erik Stevens.